Nepal | June 07, 2020

Time NC top brass opted for graceful exit: Youth leaders

Roshan S Nepal
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Kathmandu, December 11

Attributing the party’s crushing defeat in the parliamentary and provincial elections to the leadership’s failure to abide by the statute in running the party, youth leaders of the Nepali Congress have said it’s high time the existing top-layer leaders took a ‘graceful exit’ to make way for next generation leaders.

They also warned that if the top NC brass failed to seriously introspect the loss and indulged in buck-passing, and continued to stick to the conventional way of running the party — where ‘a person is above the party statute’— they would ‘generate pressure’ against the leadership.

“The top leaders got enough opportunity to work, and the recent election results have proved that they can no longer continue to hold executive positions in the party,” said NC youth leader Pradip Paudel, who lost the provincial election from Tanahun-2 (A) to the CPN-UML’s Aasha Koirala. “Now, they should function as guardians, leaving the executive posts to next-generation leaders.”

Paudel said like-minded NC leaders had expedited talks and would soon come to a conclusion. They first plan to hold ‘serious’ discussion with the party leadership on calling a Mahasamiti meeting and special general convention. “I am hopeful that the top leaders will do some serious soul-searching and make a graceful exit,” he said, adding, however, that mere leadership change was not going to solve the problem and the party needed an ‘extensive overhaul’.

Another influential NC youth leader Bishwa Prakash Sharma also agreed that mere leadership change would not solve the problem, and the current leadership could not so easily run away from the mess in the name of making way for the youths.

Sharma suggested that party President Sher bahadur Deuba immediately call a central committee meet with a 48-hour notice, which should do some rigorous soul-searching and prescribe the way ahead — be it going for Mahasamiti or special general convention or leadership change. “The central committee meet should be extensive. It does not matter if it continues for more than a week or there are serious conflicts,” he said, terming the election loss ‘collective leadership failure’.

Comparing the NC’s current status to a sick hospitalised individual, Sharma said the party should seriously work on diagnosing the illness and strictly implement the prescription to get discharged from the hospital. “The NC has not reached the graveyard, it has just been hospitalised. If it gets proper treatment, it can definitely revive,” he said, hoping that the central committee meet would come up with proper diagnosis and prescription to revive the party.

But for that, according to Sharma, each NC worker — from the president to a village-level activist — should convey the message that the NC had just lost but had not run away, and they had the capacity to transform themselves and the party.

Acknowledging that the leadership had failed to abide by the party statute, Sharma said it resulted in intra-party conflicts and lack of team spirit — one of the reasons for the defeat. “There are many capable NC leaders who have not been assigned any responsibility and have never been part of decision making. This should be addressed,” said Sharma, who lost the parliamentary election from Jhapa-1 to the CPN-MC’s Surendra Karki.

Veteran NC leader Keshav Kumar Budathoki termed the loss ‘much-needed shock’, and said it was an opportunity for the party to reform. “I have always been of the view that youths should be brought forward. We will hold extensive talks with like-minded people and come to a conclusion,” he said, agreeing that the party could no longer function with conventional approach.


A version of this article appears in print on December 12, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.

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